SN95 doin it anyway! Mustang ii suspension

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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
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Jake is gonna make it work
and we getta watch, an its gonna be fun!
I love your enthusiasm Jake and i have an appreciation for sentimental value.
Go dog go!



Hers is some visual encouragement!
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jakeklein89

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Hey everybody i have a question, its not about the mustang ii i just didnt think id be needed to start a whole new thread just to ask one question. Anyway, i have an 89 gt that i recently got a great deal on some mm rear coil overs i think the springs are 320lbs i was wondering if for temporary i could install these and cut the stock front springs so the stance looks right untill i cant get mm front coilovers? Let me know what you think it wouldnt be a permanent fix but maybe for a few months to save up and get the coilovers for the front ?
 

MustangIIMatt

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This car is dangerous.

It has nothing to do with it having a Mustang II front suspension, in fact, I'm a huge fan of the MII IFS, I've had three of them, including the one in my current Mustang II in my driveway.

What's dangerous about this car is all of the ways those front frame rails have been compromised.

This car has been destroyed.
 

jakeklein89

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This car is dangerous.

It has nothing to do with it having a Mustang II front suspension, in fact, I'm a huge fan of the MII IFS, I've had three of them, including the one in my current Mustang II in my driveway.

What's dangerous about this car is all of the ways those front frame rails have been compromised.

This car has been destroyed.
Explain how these frame rails have been “compromised”
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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I am not an engineer. Nor am I a body/frame expert. That said I can understand the concern with this modification on this vehicle.
The mustang ll style front end has been used on everything from model Ts, As and a whole bunch in between. There are kits you can buy for installing them in many applications.
Their is even a kit to install one in the first gen mustang. I've read about and seen a couple in person.
I believe the concern is with metal fatigue and structural integrity.
If you believe the welding is solid, and I think you do, then take a good look at structural integrity, meaning what forces are being place where, Ford designed the unit body car so that forces applied are bolstered by other parts of the unit body, frame rails, shock towers, windshield posts, roof braces and door opening frame to the rear frame rails all makeup the unit body structure.
Take a hard look at what needs to be done to improve the unit body stability, for instance, the shock towers have been removed along with the inner fender panels, not much stuff there to take impact of even common bumps, think about it, the k member held the lower control arms and springs, the shock towers held the struts, the k member and strut towers are now gone and everything is now supported by those frame rails. They will need some help, I suggested some bars from the cowl to the frame at the core support but thinking about it some more I would add support from the cowl to the top of the core support also.
Just some things to think about while attempting to explain why some have concerns.
 

02 281 GT

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Although you’ve said you’re no longer considering a new front clip, I’ll say that it can definitely be done if you do eventually go that route. I recall seeing a thread on another forums years ago (no longer able to locate it, though) where an entire front clip was replaced on an SN95 due to extreme rust damage.

Here’s an example of something similar from this forum on a first generation Mustang.
 
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LX Dave

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Been reading this and since 02 281 GT mentioned it, here's a couple pictures of a front clip replacement I did on my '84.

Found a '91 with a good front end and cut it off right next to the firewall
clip1.jpg


Here's the '84 pretty much ready for the new clip
clip2.jpg

Welded up and epoxy primed
clip3.jpg


Truthfully, it really wasn't too bad. IF you ever decide to go this route, it will be harder to do as I kept the first extension from the firewall and yours is gone. Basically measure, measure again, test fit the front fenders and such, then weld it up. Everything lined up just like from factory.

Oh, this is what I started with...much much worse than you can see in the picture. It was actually a fun project and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
rusty.jpg
 
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MustangIIMatt

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Explain how these frame rails have been “compromised”
To start with, they were engineered to rest on top of the front k-member, which would itself bear the weight of the engine directly. This has been undone.

They were also never designed to have the bulk of the weight of the car directly on them, as that load was originally spread through the entire front end of the car via the strut towers. Having the MII IFS welded to them, with the load not spread out nearly far enough, has changed that.

Then there's the plates of steel welded to the insides of the frame rail in an attempt to address the above, all that this has done is make the frame rails, designed to crumple in a frontal collision, very rigid, and while it's probably made them stronger, the heat cycling from the welding combined with the stiffness of the plate has resulted in it being more "glass hard" than anything. It's like the difference between impact sockets and chrome sockets; a chrome socket is much harder, but will break when used on an impact wrench repeatedly. You want a frame that's more like the impact socket and will absorb the blow in the case of a crash.

Then there's the notches for the control arms. Those are incorrectly done and have left the frame weakened in a vital, and now load-bearing area. A good bump is going to start causing that area to want to flex, but again, due to the rigidity of the material used and the heat exposure to the original material, it won't, it'll likely just crack. Also, due to the location and depth of those notches, you should be even more worried about the possibility of a frontal collison, because if that area does give quickly, the engine will now go up and back instead of straight back into the firewall.

Then there's that rectangular hole where the frame meets the floorboard, that's a horrible spot to have a weakness like that.

There are further concerns I'd have if I saw more, but I can't see enough from the pictures to go into detail about them, they'd be conjecture.

Another, non-stuctural concern is how the car will drive with it's center of gravity so fundamentally altered. The beauty of the factory MacPherson strut system is that it put the car's center of gravity unbelieveably low for a car the size of a Mustang. By putting the engine entirely above the front suspension, you've hurt that dramatically.

Also, how are your tie rod ends going to have room for travel without cutting more frame?

I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, I just repair cars for a living and I'm seeing all of the red flags that your rose-colored glasses are rendering invisible.
 
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90sickfox

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Looking at the reinforcement plates, at the extension at the top corners of the firewall, it looks like the builder was going to weld tubes to carry the some load to that area.

Maybe he was going the bring a tube down to behind the upper control arm to triangulate that area.

Does this car have through the floor subframe connectors ? You can tell by the floor board area for the driver and passengers feet.
 

southcross2631

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I have built entire chassis using the Mustang 2 components. I use .125 2x3 tubing for mine and not stamped sheet metal frame rails that are designed to crumple in a frontal impact . The car has had most of it's strength taken out by removing the inner fenderwells. You need to add some diagonals to tie the firewall to the end of those stamped rails or eventually it will start to flex and tear the metal.
the concept is fine but the execution is lacking . He may have had that in mind and got sick before he had a chance to add those bars. As much as you admire the man if he didn't have those planned it was a fatal flaw in his design.
I would weld in some plates on the firewall and run some roll bar tubing out to the end of the frame rail and add some triangulated stringers both in front and in back of the front crossmember to ensure there is no flex in the crossmember and in the rails.
I have been building both hot rods and drag and circle track cars for over 50 years. I can see what he was attempting to accomplish . I don't understand why ?
I would have built a complete chassis from the front to the back. Would have been stronger and worked better.
I built a complete chassis for this car form 4 chalk marks on the floor with a Mustang 2 front end. It ran high 10 second 1/4 mile times with nitrous and it was my daily driver for 3 years.
DSCF0958.JPG
DSCF0957.JPG
DSCF0952-001.JPG
 
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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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To start with, they were engineered to rest on top of the front k-member, which would itself bear the weight of the engine directly. This has been undone.

They were also never designed to have the bulk of the weight of the car directly on them, as that load was originally spread through the entire front end of the car via the strut towers. Having the MII IFS welded to them, with the load not spread out nearly far enough, has changed that.

Then there's the plates of steel welded to the insides of the frame rail in an attempt to address the above, all that this has done is make the frame rails, designed to crumple in a frontal collision, very rigid, and while it's probably made them stronger, the heat cycling from the welding combined with the stiffness of the plate has resulted in it being more "glass hard" than anything. It's like the difference between impact sockets and chrome sockets; a chrome socket is much harder, but will break when used on an impact wrench repeatedly. You want a frame that's more like the impact socket and will absorb the blow in the case of a crash.

Then there's the notches for the control arms. Those are incorrectly done and have left the frame weakened in a vital, and now load-bearing area. A good bump is going to start causing that area to want to flex, but again, due to the rigidity of the material used and the heat exposure to the original material, it won't, it'll likely just crack. Also, due to the location and depth of those notches, you should be even more worried about the possibility of a frontal collison, because if that area does give quickly, the engine will now go up and back instead of straight back into the firewall.

Then there's that rectangular hole where the frame meets the floorboard, that's a horrible spot to have a weakness like that.

There are further concerns I'd have if I saw more, but I can't see enough from the pictures to go into detail about them, they'd be conjecture.

Another, non-stuctural concern is how the car will drive with it's center of gravity so fundamentally altered. The beauty of the factory MacPherson strut system is that it put the car's center of gravity unbelieveably low for a car the size of a Mustang. By putting the engine entirely above the front suspension, you've hurt that dramatically.

Also, how are your tie rod ends going to have room for travel without cutting more frame?

I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, I just repair cars for a living and I'm seeing all of the red flags that your rose-colored glasses are rendering invisible.
Well said, with tact, and not a hint of insult. Who knew that was possible? :shrug:
 
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revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
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unless there is some reason that car should stay in your life, your fathers friend has doomed it to JY status. If you arent a consummate welder, the whole deal will be best left to die in some field behind some shed.

Taking a donor car, and going through the process of cutting off that snout, then replacing it on the future dead car would have me wondering why?
A 460 would’ve fit the engine bay in its stock configuration w/o needing anything other than mounts and headers. ( And those are already made by somebody else) let alone a 351w which would’ve literally dropped right into the stock mounts.
The work in those pics just screams “ I don’t know what I’m doing” ..any competent chassis guy would’ve advised your father he didn’t need to do any of that. And... even if he was putting in some obscenely huge mis-matched combo ( like 426 hemi) and needed the additional room that the factory strut towers interfered with, a competent chassis guy would’ve jut notched the strut towers to clear.

In its present state, there is no place for any of the sheetemetal to mount back to. There is already ride height issues, and it’s just one big pain in the ass waiting to get bigger. Who knows what kind of bump steer issues you have, and looking at the whole fab would have me terrified to drive it past a slow roll.

I wouldn’t bother buying a donor car. I’d buy another car, and donate the one you have to the shredder.

I just got around to reading this thread. There is something about us old guys, we just say it like it is. SNs came with 351 engines from the factory. You don't even have to change the accessory brackets like you do on a Fox; it's headers and a longer serpentine belt.

My dad is the same way, probably just as old too. 'Back in my day, we threw a Mustang 2 suspension on everything." And a 9" rear end also. That's something only someone out of the loop would do.

I'm not hating, I promise. This is just reality. I know a lot of people who don't keep up on how times are changing. I am in a career field where it is impossible to not be constantly learning new things; and I am grateful for that. Your dad's friend was probably brilliant, like my dad was. He just didn't keep up with how things change.

Now, call me crazy, but here's what I would do if I had a car like that with a lot of sentimental value to me. I promise you that front clip is going to be nothing but a hassle. It will never work right, and it might kill you. I'd take that car to a professional race chassis business. Cut all that nonsense off, and have a full tubular front race clip put in. Like what all the guys on "Street Outlaws" have on their "street" cars. Keep the 9" rear end for now...you know...for sentimental sake. That would make your dad and his friend proud. It'll make the car much safer, much lighter, and transfer weight much better.

Kurt
 
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CarMichael Angelo

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Well said, with tact, and not a hint of insult. Who knew that was possible? :shrug:
And to think..I was the sole early nay-sayer here, labeled as a negative grouch because I was telling him that the car was a mess.

( I mean, what do I know,.. I've only built 7 drag cars in the last 20 years, two of which were certified to 25-2 back then)
Maybe now that there are 4 people telling him to throw away the bad design, and put back what was cut away he'll listen, and change the title to something different other than "Nyah-Nyah, I'm doin it anyway"
 

02 281 GT

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And to think..I was the sole early nay-sayer here, labeled as a negative grouch because I was telling him that the car was a mess.

( I mean, what do I know,.. I've only built 7 drag cars in the last 20 years, two of which were certified to 25-2 back then)
Maybe now that there are 4 people telling him to throw away the bad design, and put back what was cut away he'll listen, and change the title to something different other than "Nyah-Nyah, I'm doin it anyway"
Never questioned your expertise nor that of others who have echoed your advice. Quite the contrary. The key word in my original post being "insult".
 

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
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It's your delivery Mike, it's a little, well, ruff.

Unfortunately sometimes the truth is rough. I didn't detect that he was looking to insult anyone. I took it more as he simply wasn't going to sugarcoat what he could see based on his personal experience of building cars. I have not built as many as Mike, or the quality of his, but I gotta agree with his assessment of this particular car. I also see quite a rough car.
 
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jakeklein89

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Been reading this and since 02 281 GT mentioned it, here's a couple pictures of a front clip replacement I did on my '84.

Found a '91 with a good front end and cut it off right next to the firewall
clip1.jpg


Here's the '84 pretty much ready for the new clip
clip2.jpg

Welded up and epoxy primed
clip3.jpg


Truthfully, it really wasn't too bad. IF you ever decide to go this route, it will be harder to do as I kept the first extension from the firewall and yours is gone. Basically measure, measure again, test fit the front fenders and such, then weld it up. Everything lined up just like from factory.

Oh, this is what I started with...much much worse than you can see in the picture. It was actually a fun project and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
rusty.jpg
More stuff like this is what id truly like to see! Looks awesome, everybody can tell me what im doing wrong fellas. Can anyone in this thread other then 5 of 6 people help out. Heavens the amount of “ ur doing this wrong “ i blah blah blah this and man your some 20 year old kid just throw it away. Is that helping me get it moving on its own? I think not. But a post like this shared by this fine gentlemen surely help shed a glimpse of hope that hey this option isnt impossible either. When i had brought up the front clip option the only replies i had were “endless project” “youll never finish it “ “money pit” “ive seen it before just throw it away “ anyway again help or dont reply i appreciate all the people sharing information im able to use to drive the car again.
 

jakeklein89

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And to think..I was the sole early nay-sayer here, labeled as a negative grouch because I was telling him that the car was a mess.

( I mean, what do I know,.. I've only built 7 drag cars in the last 20 years, two of which were certified to 25-2 back then)
Maybe now that there are 4 people telling him to throw away the bad design, and put back what was cut away he'll listen, and change the title to something different other than "Nyah-Nyah, I'm doin it anyway"
Mike you were apart of the two or three telling me to ditch the car not swap the front clips........
 

MustangIIMatt

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More stuff like this is what id truly like to see! Looks awesome, everybody can tell me what im doing wrong fellas. Can anyone in this thread other then 5 of 6 people help out. Heavens the amount of “ ur doing this wrong “ i blah blah blah this and man your some 20 year old kid just throw it away. Is that helping me get it moving on its own? I think not. But a post like this shared by this fine gentlemen surely help shed a glimpse of hope that hey this option isnt impossible either. When i had brought up the front clip option the only replies i had were “endless project” “youll never finish it “ “money pit” “ive seen it before just throw it away “ anyway again help or dont reply i appreciate all the people sharing information im able to use to drive the car again.

"Not telling you what you want to hear" isn't necessarily "not helping".

Also, trying to tell people what to do who've been on this site about as long as you've been alive? That's laughable.

You're all over the place in this thread. In one post you're defiant and insisting you're going to use the butchered front end that's on this car anyway no matter who tells you what, then in the next you're thinking about clipping it (which is where you take sections of two cars and make one good one, which isn't necessarily a bad idea, and done right, just might give you this car back in a safe and functional manner again). Hell, your current thread title still says your mind is made up and you're keeping the scrap metal forward of the firewall and forging ahead.

My biggest concern is that if you think what's been done to the car was done "good" and "right", then you're going to be in over your head trying to clip it.
 
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CarMichael Angelo

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It's your delivery Mike, it's a little, well, ruff.
You think that I think that I’m being cordial, and you have to tell me I sound like a prick?

I know my reply is harsh...it’s was intended that way. It was done that way as a reality check to offset the “you can do it- atta boys” that were coming from the cheap seats. ( second time I’ve said this)

If somebody has never welded before. The first projects to take on are simple things. SF connectors, stock lower control arm reinforcement, and after practicing a lot ( @Rdub6 comes to mind) floor pan replacement.
No life safety projects...no roll cages, no rear suspension, and certainly no front suspension projects right out of the box.

That said, a front clip swap is insane to even consider when going from “ I‘ve never welded before”, especially when there is no reference point for where to put the replacement back, doubly so when considering that you have to buy a junker SN 95 donor to cut it away from...( would leave me scratching my head saying to myself...” Why am I cutting up this rolling car to put it on the car that don’t?) Then turn around, and do that again to the other car, when I could’ve just started fresh with the trusted stuff from the factory.

Heres where I discount the original work.
1. Just because two pieces of metal look fused together, doesn’t mean that they were properly welded. If I paid money to have a chassis shop weld that II front end on a car, ( any car) and that’s what they handed me, I’d demand my money back. And appearance and weld integrity aside, and As stated, those trenches that are cut in top of the frame rail for the upper control arms to travel through have compromised the integrity of the whole deal. Furthermore, after the whole thing gets done the first time, the car gets put on all four tires, and as a result, snakes have to duck because it’s too damn low....
Uhhhh...whoops.:shrug: And now we’re cutting off the upper shock mounts...

2. Why on Earth would a competent welder/fabricator take on replacing the factory K member/suspension on an SN 95 chassis, and replace it with a completely different 25 year older front suspension in the first place? ESPECIALLY when the original objective was to fit in an engine that would’ve dropped into place without cutting ONE DAMN THING.

I mean it just screams I don’t know what I’m doing so bad, it makes my head hurt.

3. Lastly,....I get the sentimentality part. You want to keep the car that this man had a hand in building. But...How much of that gets cut away if/when you put a new front clip on it?

The thread title originally asked for “ the wisest of builders here”. And the original question was to go with, or scrap and replace that front end. And you guys can call me what you want...An Opinionated, inconsiderate,...outright prick.......I’ll wear that hat. At the same time, I’m one of the few here that build what I drive/race. I know what it’s like to go to a NHRA chassis certification guy that puts the end result of what was welded up to a series of tests to determine whether or not the car can be raced or not.

You can take it or leave it, I really don’t care. But fix your “nanny-nanny boo-boo” thread title. If the first Lemming didn’t jump off the cliff, the rest wouldn’t follow.
 
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